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G20 protesters to stage 'kiss-in' in Toronto for gay and disabled rights

TORONTO - G20 protesters will be back on the streets of Toronto this afternoon to rally for gay and disabled people's rights.

TORONTO - G20 protesters will be back on the streets of Toronto this afternoon to rally for gay and disabled people's rights.

Syed Hussan, a spokesman for the Toronto Community Mobilization Network, says activists plan to stage a fun-filled roving kiss-in near the Eaton Centre.

A raucous, loud, music-filled march that will include street theatre was scheduled to start about 4:30 p.m., he said.

The protest is over what organizers feel is an erosion of gay rights in the past year in Canada and other G20 countries.

They're upset at what they say is the increased corporatization of Toronto’s Pride festivities and barriers facing gay and lesbian immigrants to Canada.

They are also unhappy the Ontario government withdrew a new sex-education curriculum in Ontario after parents and religious groups objected.

Among other things, that curriculum would have introduced Ontario students to the concept of same-sex families in Grade 3.

Hussan called the G8 and G20 illegitimate bodies that are non-representative of women, gay and disabled communities, and said they should be abolished.

While his group isn't advocating violence at this week's G8 and G20 protests, he said it's not telling protesters to refrain from property damage against large corporations.

"I believe that... in any of the protests there will be no one hurt," he said.

He said property destruction, "or property modification as some people choose to call it" can happen any time.

"In terms of property, we're really not trying to tell what activists what to do. We're trying to tell the G20 what to do, which is to go away."

Tuesday morning, feminist activists did "creative transformations" of public statues — hanging banners, putting up placards and taking pictures, he said.

The protests come a day after hundreds of anti-poverty, animal rights and other activists stopped traffic as they marched through city streets and briefly took over an Esso gas station.

 
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